In Europe, Vespa has announced the new 2011 GTS Super 300 and Supersport 300 scooters, which the Italian company claim “epitomize the values of style, comfort, safety and sturdiness of the Vespa brand.”
The new GTS Super follows in the footsteps of iconic sporting Vespas, such as the 1955 Vespa GS, the 1964 180 SS and the 1985 T5 Pole Position.
The 300 engine is the most powerful Vespa has ever adopted is fuel-injected and powers the scooter. Sportier and more aggressive, the brand-new SuperSport version is designed to be a pure object of desire. According to Vespa, “The GTS SuperSport is elegance and sparkle, grit and power.”
There have always been sporty versions of the Vespa, and they have been road raced, and sometimes used in competition off-orad. The 6-day Vespa dominated the 1951 International Six Days, winning 9 gold medals.
Road racing experience gave rise to the model that many people, to this day, regard as the most beautiful scooter in Vespa history–the 1955 Vespa GS, which was later immortalized in the film Quadrophenia.
In the screen version of the rock opera by The Who, the GS was ridden by a character played by Sting of The Police. As guitarist Pete Townshend wrote, “I ride my GS Scooter with my hair cut neat.”
The Vespa GTS Super continues this sporting tradition and this year production will surpass 100,000 units, proof of Vespa’s appeal after 63 years of history. This Vespa offers elegant sportiness, with soft lines and glamorous accents combined to give emphasis to its sporty and youthful nature.
The Vespa GTS Super blends not just sportiness and performance, but distinctiveness and character, too. Through design and technology, the Vespa GTS Super reinterprets a sports classic from the Vespa Hall of Fame, toying with aesthetic solutions and new functions.
The right hand side of the body sports a distinctive grille with horizontal slots–an obvious reference to the most stylish Vespas of the past–providing a sporty touch to the side view of the vehicle. The original and gritty titanium grey colour of the steel body of the brand-new Vespa GTS SuperSport accentuates its design and solidity.
The suspension gains a distinctive racing red finish for the front spring, a detail that makes the GTS 300 Super stand out from the crowd. The aggressive front leg shield also shows the model’s sports character, with a stylish grille with chrome accents replacing the daylight running light.
The two-color alloy wheel rims recall the dismountable ones of the past. The latest Vespa version stands out at first glance, and from every angle. The original “SuperSport” nameplate is located on the leg shield back plate right next to the opening of the glove box, while two burnished classic “Vespa” logo nameplates are on the leg shield and left side.
The all-analog instrumentation, in keeping with the finest motorsports traditions, is modern and functional with white numerals against a black background, and is as easy to read as it is distinctive.
The saddle, which accommodates rider and passenger in all versions to the full benefit of vehicle comfort and use, sets itself apart with its forms and materials characteristic of the sportiness of Italian vehicles.
Light white piping contrasts with the black upholstery in an explicit reference to past models. The Vespa GTS SuperSport is also distinguished by its elegant black seat, but made with heat seals. The result is a more comfortable and more aggressive seat definitely in keeping with the best sporting tradition.
Increasing engine performance focused on achieving top performance in acceleration–a fundamental quality in city commuting, along with reducing consumption and polluting emissions. The GTS 300 Super and the new SuperSport are extraordinary urban vehicles and are characterised by their high torque level (22.3 Nm), reached at a lower engine speed (5,000 rpm versus 6,500) compared to the 250cc version.
Vespa claims it builds the only scooters in the world with load bearing steel body–an exclusive design feature that has set Vespa apart from other two wheelers ever since the first model was brought out in 1946. This design philosophy gives the Vespa a claimed rigidity of up to 250% more than a scooter with a tubular frame, resulting in incredible vehicle control and a legendary sturdiness.
Within the body of the Vespa GTS Super and SuperSport, beneath the seat, is the fuel tank. In spite of its impressive tank holding more than two galloons, offering outstanding range, the tank does not compromise under-seat storage space or access to the engine once the helmet compartment, which can hold two demi-jet helmets.
Together with the rigidity of their bodies, the Vespa GTS Super 300 and the Vespa GTS SuperSport are fitted out with a chassis architecture distinguished by 12″ wheels shod with a 120/70 tire on the front and a 130/70 tire on the back.
The front suspension uses the classic link arm layout, a traditional feature in Vespa history with excellent dynamic functional characteristics. The system separates load bearing and shock-absorbing functions, resulting in neutral braking and offering an anti-dive effect beyond the mid travel point of the shock absorber.
At the rear, two pre-load-adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers are fixed to the transmission crankcase and exhaust support. The power brakes have a 220 mm disc both up front and in the back.
Scooter Technical Specifications
- Vespa 300 ie (GTS Super /Super Sport)
- Engine Single-cylinder 4 stroke, 4 valve Piaggio unit with electronic injection and catalytic converter
- Engine Capacity 278 cc
- Bore/stroke 75/63 mm
- Max power at driveshaft 15.8 kW (22 hp) at 7,500 rpm.
- Max torque 22.3 Nm at 5,000 rpm
- Fuel Unleaded petrol
- Timing System SOHC (single overhead cam), 4 valves per cylinder
- Cooling system Liquid
- Injection Port injected Alfa/N type with closed loop lambda control and three-way catalytic converter
- Lubrication Wet sump
- Starter Electric
- Clutch Automatic dry centrifugal clutch with vibration dampers
- Transmission Twist-and-go CVT with torque server
- Load bearing structure Sheet steel body with welded reinforcements
- Front suspension Single arm, dual chamber hydraulic shock absorber with coaxial spring
- Rear suspension Two dual effect shock absorbers with adjustable preload
- Front tire Tubeless 120/70-12″
- Rear tire Tubeless 130/70-12″
- Front brake 220 mm Ø disc
- Rear brake 220 mm Ø disc
- Length/width 1,930 /755 mm
- Seat height 790 mm
- Wheelbase 1,370 mm
- Weight 148 kg
- Fuel tank capacity 9.2 litres
- Emissions (exhaust, noise) Euro 3